Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stones vs. Gifts

Watch the way you talk…Say only what helps, each word a gift.

Ephesians 4:29 (The Message)

If you can’t say something nice don’t say it at all was part of my early education. Honestly...I haven’t always applied this principle. But, I've been the recipient of words spoken by individuals who haven’t applied it as well! It’s not that uncommon when living in community! If you can’t say something nice… We live in a time when people believe it is their “right” to say whatever they “feel” with very little thought to the outcome.

The majority of conflicts, estrangements, misunderstandings begin with stone words instead of gift words. Words are the most powerful weapons we have at our disposal. They can also be tools for rebuilding and restoring. It all depends on how what words I decide to use.

As Jesus followers, the words I speak should make me distinctive in a world consumed with tongue rights. When the “world” hears Christians exercising tongue rights with each other, what are they to think? Why should they choose another Way if what they are seeing isn’t any different from how they presently live? My words should be so gift-like distinctive that they attract people, like a sumptuous food.

Watching the way I talk begins at “home.” The words I speak to my parents, spouse, children, siblings are practice for how I will speak to my neighbors, friends, and fellow Jesus followers. My “nature” is not gift words. Speaking words of grace - gift words - is a conscious, deliberate and daily choice.

Jesus, thank you for Your “gift words”
that brought healing, forgiveness and wholeness.
Help me to watch the way I talk
so that I can give “gifts” instead of stones.

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